Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I watched one of those Bruin shows the other day, you know the ones with the older guys and the wooden blonde, where they interview athletes and coaches from UCLA?  Well I watched the April episode with Miss Val, who has been on it a few times in the last year or two, mostly because I will pretty much watch anything she does- even if she says the same things over and over (I think that is more about painfully repetitive questions from the media than anything).  She has been my gymnastics idol ever since I started following college gymnastics.  The only coach I have come close to liking so much is Nicolae Forminte, but that is because he is so darn squishy and fatherly!  Miss Val is certainly neither.  She is slightly scary and wonderfully eloquent (less psychobabble) and frank.  Me like.

Anyway, two things, if you haven't watched the video for yourself already;

1.  It gives a little bit more insight into Anna Li's maturation- talking about endless conversations with Li through her first three years at UCLA about discipline and motivation.  The Diva has become even more frank about Li lately, and not been afraid to tell us at the most recent press conference that in the past that Anna would have railed against going up first in the beam line up, and in this video, stating frankly that Li's first years were not good.  It sounds to me like there were academic difficulties on top of gymnastics issues.  Anyway, Anna must have grown immensely, if she can take quite honest public knocks like that on the chin!

2.  Secondly, the old guy asked Val about armchair supporters, and she expounded on her philosophy that the fans are important, and how she reminds the girls that they should be allowed to feel integral to the team and like they know what is best, and that if that means 'trash talking" her as head coach, then so be it.  Lawd, can you imagine going over to Val after a meet and telling her how you think she should do things?  One raise of that eyebrow and I'd be heading for the hills!


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